Artist Biography - Anne Desmet
Anne Desmet RA was born in Liverpool in 1964. She has BFA and MA degrees in Fine Art from Oxford University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking from Central School of Art, London. She now lives and works in London.
Anne uses the wood engraving technique, where a print is produced from a block of hard end-grain wood, onto the surface of which Anne engraves a design using f...ine, steel, cutting tools. When the cutting is complete, she applies a thin layer of printing ink. She then carefully places a sheet of smooth paper, face down, onto the inked block, and takes a printed impression either by hand-rubbing the back of the paper with a spoon, or by using a press. Anne uses a cast-iron Albion printing press dating from 1859. She prints a limited edition of between 20 and 75 impressions from each block.
She is only the third wood engraver ever elected to membership of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in its 250-year history and in 2016 the RA published a facsimile sketchbook featuring 25 years of her Italian drawings. Prints and collages based on these drawings will be exhibited in a solo exhibition at Gainsborough’s House Museum, Sudbury, Suffolk, from June – October 2018.
She exhibits her wood engravings, linocuts and collages widely, has won
over 30 national and international awards (including a Rome Scholarship
in Printmaking; a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, USA; and an
Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, Montreal, Canada) and has works
in public and private collections worldwide. The Ashmolean Museum,
Oxford, and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, have each purchased
significant holdings of her works. Desmet is author of three printmaking books and was editor of Printmaking Today magazine from 1998-2013. In 2018 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford University, for ‘distinction in the world of art’.